2018-19 Season Review: Is Reggie Jackson Back?
After playing only a combined 97 games between 2016-18, Detroit Pistons 6’3” point guard Reggie played and started in all 82 games of the regular season, as well as all four playoff games, the only player on the Pistons roster to do so.
When Jackson first came to Detroit, fans were excited and loved to watch him play. In his first 27 games with the Pistons, Jackson looked like he could be an All-Star caliber point guard, bearing averages of 17.6 points, 9.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds on 43.6 percent shooting from the floor and 33.7 percent from three, in 32.2 minutes per game.
Jackson continued to put up phenomenal numbers in the 2015-16 campaign, increasing his points per game average and his three-point percentage. However, since then, it has been all downhill for Jackson. Between 2016-18, Jackson only had averages of 14.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game on only 42.2 percent shooting from the floor and 33.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Part of Jackson’s struggles have been due to injuries, limiting him to 52 games in the 2016-17 season and 45 games in the 2017-18.
Jackson came back 100 percent healthy for the beginning of the 2018-19 season, and started off hot scoring 19, 18, 23, and 16 points in Detroit’s first four games of the year. But, from the end of October until the beginning of February, Jackson’s numbers hit a decline.
However, in the six games in early February before the all-star break, Jackson began to find his feet again toting averages of 19.3 points and 5.5 assists 50 percent shooting and 55.6 percent from three.
After the All-Star break, Jackson had a slight resurgence and became a much more consistent player. In the final 20 games of the year, Jackson averaged 23.7 points and 7.1 assists while shooting 41 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from deep. While Jackson is not the most efficient player, he has a 54.7 percent true shooting percentage, he showed that he is still capable of being a starting point guard in the NBA.
Jackson’s numbers carried over to the playoffs where he had a good series against the Eastern Conference’s top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. In the four-game series, Jackson averaged 17.8 points and seven assists on 43.1 percent shooting and 42.8 percent from three.
Not only did Jackson shoot the ball decently and put up good numbers down the stretch, but he also showed Pistons fans that he still has the handles, flashiness, and clutch plays that he came to Detroit with.
On March 3, Detroit faced the Toronto Raptors. As the Pistons were down two with less than a minute to go, Jackson put the ball in his own hands and pulled off this spectacular play.
Jackson went on to have 19 points and four assists in what ended up being a 112-107 victory for the Pistons in overtime.
A month later on April 3, Jackson pulled off another stellar play against the Indiana Pacers, yet again showcasing his handles.
Unfortunately, Indiana would route the Pistons 108-89, on a night where Jackson had 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The 29-year-old point guard now heads into this off-season feeling better than ever.
“I feel faster, I feel stronger, I just feel it coming, I feel quicker, I’m getting more confident,” Jackson said in an interview with the Detroit News’ Matt Schoch. “It’s just the tough part that as I’m feeling better, the season is over.”
“I look forward to being healthy and actually being able to workout and work on my game, and to come back and hopefully help the team improve next year,” Jackson said.
It will be an important off-season for Jackson, to say the least, as he goes into his fifth full season in Detroit, and the final year of his five-year, $80 million contract.
*All stats are from basketball-reference.com and stats.nba.com
Featured Image: Aaron Gash/Associated Press